Downtown Montreal's Christmas market, the Grand Marché de Noël, is making its long-awaited return — and it's bringing part of Alsace with it.
This holiday season, the market in the Quartier des spectacles will include a makeshift neighbourhood inspired by the French region known for its German roots and charming medieval architecture.
The centrepiece of the market will, of course, be a giant illuminated Christmas tree.
The Grand Marché de Noël will be just one of three large Christmas events in the city this year. The Atwater and Jean-Talon markets are also set to host a collection of local vendors in holiday-themed huts.
In total, according to organizing company La Lutinerie, over 100 artisans and producers will be selling their goods.
La Lutinerie promises mulled wine and churros to keep you warm and filled with holiday cheer.
The city has unveiled a new all-seasons public square in downtown Montreal that will have spots to hang out, an ice skating rink in the winter, and even an "urban chalet" with restaurants and "creative spaces," according to Mayor Valérie Plante.
In a statement, the mayor said the new Esplanade Tranquille will be the "new flagship destination" of the Quartier des Spectacles.
"This project allows us to transform a heat island into a place of relaxation and entertainment for the entire population, which will allow Montreal and its downtown area to shine throughout the year, thanks to mobile facilities that meet the needs of Montreal families," the mayor said.
Located west of rue Clark between rues Sainte-Catherine and de Montigny, the 5,000-square-metre public square will be "transformed according to the seasons."
It will feature a green space and hangout spots during the summer. In the winter, the Esplanade Tranquille will turn into a winter wonderland complete with a huge refrigerated skating rink.
"This new multi-purpose space is a perfect complement to our existing infrastructures and will make it possible to meet the multiple uses of festivals and events and to offer Montrealers a new place to gather," Monique Simard, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Partenariat du Quartier des spectacles, added.
Montreal's 31st annual First Peoples' Festival is on this week to showcase some of the best local Indigenous talent.
A program of music, dance, cinema, and art will occupy the Place des Festivals for an "exploration of risky areas, where the buried traces of an immemorial past are not yet erased and where the artists boldly highlight, in the fog of the present, the paths of a luminous future," according to a press release shared with MTL Blog.
Starting on the evening of August 4, the city will reverberate with the sounds of new and traditional music from influential artists like Pow-Wow singers group the Buffalo Hat Singers, Oji-Cree artist Anachnid, the iconic Laura Niquay, an Atikamekw artist from the community of Wemotaci in Quebec, and legendary group Twin Flames.
In addition to the incredible music on display, more than 60 films will be shown as part of the festival's Mattiusi Awards.
Get the details below. Tickets can be purchased or reserved online.
31st Annual First Peoples' Festival In Montreal
Maude Touchette | Handout
Price: Free outdoor shows; film ticket prices vary by event.